AGs Argue Cryogenic Liquified Ethane is Too Dangerous to Ship by Rail

  • A coalition of 14 Democratic AGs submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) opposing Gas Innovations LNG Refrigerants Inc.’s request for a special permit to ship cryogenic liquified ethane—a highly flammable gas—in rail tank cars from Pennsylvania to undisclosed locations in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Gulf Coast, citing public safety concerns.
  • According to the comment letter, the AGs argue that Gas Innovations should not be granted the special permit to ship cryogenic ethane in rail tank cars—its shipment is currently only authorized if done in cryogenic truck trailers—because the company failed to identify both the cargo’s precise destinations and any operational controls that would lower chances of derailment, such as speed limits and braking requirements.
  • The AGs ask PHMSA to deny Gas Innovations’ application for a special permit in order to ensure the safety of the communities and protect the environment through which the rail shipment might pass.